The Melbourne Mail: Flemington - 10th September 2022

Flemington hosts one of its biggest meetings of the year with the Makybe Diva Stakes a candidate for being the first real Group One of the Australian racing season.


Five of the eight runners have won over at mile at the top level and Mo'unga has twice run second including in this race last year. It promises to take something like a genuine Group One performance to win what will surely be the highlight of the card whichever way it goes.

We've written about the Makybe Diva and the ratings of the main players and you can read that by clicking here 

Good as it promises to the betting looks fairly bedded down and it is passed over for Melbourne Mail purposes with the Group Two Let's Elope Stakes for the mares the destination for our best this week. 

The Cockram has long been the place to go looking for a Let's Elope winner. 16 times the Cockram has thrown up the winner this century and those have come at twice the rate of random chance.

Just two tread that path this year - Kissonallforcheeks and Flying Mascot- and they quite rightly sit at the front of betting with preference for the former.

A wide draw could be a little sticking point but a top jock offsets that somewhat and Mark Zahra has horse to work with underneath, particularly judged on last time they linked up.

That - probably by no coincidence - came second up at the Flemington 7 f when she let rip, beating a similarly competitive line up by a space in good time made even better by the fact that she was finishing full of running. 

There is little doubt that when it came to picking an early spring target that win was front of mind. Flemington 7 f, second peak. 

Flying Mascot was a winner on the same card and there wasn't a great deal between what she produced and what Kissonallforcheeks put up later that day. That they are similarly talented was on display again in the Cockram but the edges on both occasions have been with the filly from Perth and they can be once again on Saturday. 

A card with plenty of depth means there are lots of plausible plays at bigger odds. For an each way play we'll settle for a flyer at Lightsaber in race four where he is given his chance back in calmer waters. 

Four of Lightsaber's five runs since winning the Guineas Prelude last spring have come at Group One level; fourth in the Caulfield Guineas and second in the Australian Guineas his best two efforts in that time. 

He was below that sort of form when resuming in the Memsie, giving way fairly tamely in truth, but the effort still wasn't miles away from what will be competitive in this and it could just be a race that sets right up for him with a few key rivals in potentially awkward spots. 

It does Lightsaber's chances, or at least our case for his chances, no harm that the Moody yard have got up and running in the past few weeks. A quiet patch in town was snapped with a double at Caulfield two weeks back, both winners running fast times and looking very sharp indeed, and three metro meetings since have netted winners including a three-timer on Wednesday just gone at Sandown. 

Prices around 15-1 looks a bit big for one that is absolutely good enough to win and has plausible reasons to expect a run up around his best. 



Bet Of The Day: Race 7 #5 Kissonallforcheeks @ $4.00

Each Way Play: Race 4 #1 Lightsaber @ $16.00

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